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|Jermaine O'Neal doesn't realize that playing in college actually serves the players well.|
He jumped from high school to a cushy, million-dollar seat at the end of the Portland Trail Blazers' bench. He can't understand why the league would want to deny another teenager that same rite of passage. And what about LeBron James? He leaped straight from high school to MVP candidate. In O'Neal's mind, the influx of teenage hoopsters has been very, very good for the NBA. The only people who have a problem with it are the very same people who can't understand why O'Neal, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson sucker punched and coldcocked rowdy Detroit Pistons fans. It's racism. No, it's not. It's business. Despite James' success, and the fact that seven strait-outta-hi-skool players earned spots in the NBA All-Star Game, the influx of unprepared teenage ballers has been bad for the NBA. The growth value of NBA franchises is not keeping pace with NFL and MLB franchises. The league isn't as important as it once was, and Stern is trying to head off a tidal wave of negative publicity directed at the league.
|Scoop Jackson thinks Jermaine O'Neal has every right to question the motives behind an NBA age limit. Cast your vote on the issue.|
I don't care how many jerseys LeBron James sells. I don't care how many endorsement deals King James has. He is not as big a star (or as much of an asset to the league) as Magic Johnson was his first two years in the NBA. Magic and the league benefited from the star power Johnson generated while winning a national championship at Michigan State. So, yes, David Stern and NBA owners have a vested interest in the success of college basketball. There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing racist about NBA owners' wanting their potential employees spending a few years in college becoming more valuable. It's good business. It's good business for the players, too.
|LeBron may turn out to be better, but Magic Johnson made a bigger impact.|